Slides Summary

001. INTRODUCTION: Chief & Assistant Chief Basics

Welcome to the Chief & Assistant Chief Basics online training class!

This class will go over all information you need to know before serving as a Chief or Assistant Chief for the first time.

002. INTRODUCTION: Class Notes

Review all information in these slides and notes at your own pace.

We will go over all information you need to know, including what to do before polls open, how to handle non-routine voters, provisional ballots, how to complete the Statement of Results, and how to close the polls at the end of election day.

At the end, you must complete a quiz to receive credit for this class.

003. INTRODUCTION: Election Officer Basics Review

This class will assume you are familiar with the current list of acceptable IDs, Poll Pads and how to check in voters, and DS200s and how to cast ballots.

If you need a refresher on any of these topics, feel free to pause this training and view part or all of the online Election Officer Basics class.

004. BEFORE POLLS OPEN: Introduction

Let’s start by going over what you need to know and do before election day and during opening procedures before polls open.

005. BEFORE POLLS OPEN: Chiefs Notebook

All Chiefs and Assistant Chiefs are issued a digital PDF of the Chiefs Notebook before each election. This class is designed to give you an overview of everything you need to know, but you will also have a physical Chiefs Notebook on election day to easily double-check and reference how to handle any situation.

You will receive your Chiefs Notebook PDF about 2 weeks before election day. It’s very important for you to familiarize yourself with the contents BEFORE election day, so that you know where to look when you need to help a non-routine voter or handle another situation.

006. BEFORE POLLS OPEN: The Week Before

The week before the election, there are 4 things you need to do.

  • Attend the Chiefs Briefing. This is required, by law, before each election in which you serve as a Chief or Assistant Chief. At the Chiefs Briefing, you will learn about new laws and procedures that affect that election.
  • Visit your polling place. Sometime the week before the election, the Chief should visit the polling place to meet with building staff and see the voting room. The Chief should also verify your gray supply cart, DS200 scanners, and disassembled absentee ballot drop box have arrived. The Assistant Chief should attend too, if possible.
  • Chief picks up election materials. Chiefs will be asked to schedule a time to pick up election materials. Notably, Chiefs will receive a black rolling kit (with election documents and forms) as well as their precinct’s Poll Pads.
  • Chief contacts election officers. The week before the election, the Chief should send an email or call all election officers to go over basic information. This includes making sure each officer is still working, they know where the building is, they know which entrance to use, and they know which room is the voting room. If any officers say they are no longer able to serve, let the main office know immediately.

007. BEFORE POLLS OPEN: The Day Before

There are 2 things to do the day before the election:

  • Chief receives Sheriff’s Envelope. On the day before the election, Sheriffs will deliver an envelope to the Chief’s home between 6:00 AM and 2:00 PM. If you are not home, that’s OK — they will post it at your front door. This envelope will contain final election materials. You must bring this envelope with you on election day! We suggest you put it in your black rolling kit, so you don’t forget it.
  • Go to polling place, set up voting room. The day before the election, the Chief and Assistant Chief should go to the polling place and do initial setup of the voting room. Invite any available officers to join you! You should set up the overall room, including the tables, chairs, handouts, and indoor signs (do not post the outside signs as they could be moved or removed before election morning). You are allowed to open the gray cart and inspect or use the contents inside as long as you seal it again before you leave. The only exception is for ballots and voting equipment - do NOT open these before election day!

008. BEFORE POLLS OPEN: The Morning Of

Now it’s election morning. What do you need to do?

  • Swear in officers at 5:00 AM. Don’t wait for late officers; you can swear them in when they arrive. The important part is to swear in the officers who are present, so you can get started. If you have High School Pages in a November election, you should swear them in as well.
  • Delegate tasks and work in parallel. Split up tasks among your officers and have them get started. Put your best officers on the most important tasks, including setting up the Poll Pads, setting up the DS200 scanners, and opening the ballots. Some Chiefs ask their officers what their strengths are, and what they may want more practice with before election day. This can help you make a plan for the day!
  • Open polls promptly at 6:00 AM. You must open the polls on time, even if you haven’t finished lower-priority tasks like putting up signs.

009. BEFORE POLLS OPEN: Voting Room Layout

This is a sample room layout to give you an idea of the flow inside a voting room.

  • In this room, the voter enters, asks any questions of the greeter (the officer by the entrance), and then proceeds to the check-in table with the Poll Pads.
  • If there are any issues checking in the voter, they would be directed to the Chief’s Table, where the Chief or Assistant Chief may help resolve the issue.
  • After the voter is checked in, they move to the Ballot Table where they will receive their ballot. Each ballot should be given to the voter in a privacy folder.
  • After receiving a ballot, the voter goes to the voting tables and sits in a vacant privacy booth to mark their ballot.
  • If the voter chooses to use the ExpressVote ballot marking device, an officer should guide them there. Note that the ExpressVote also has a privacy booth around it.
  • Lastly, the voter moves to the DS200, scans their ballot, and exits the room.

The voting room should be set up to have the voter move in a circular fashion, without crossing the paths of other voters, and with an election officer at each station to help guide them.

The absentee ballot drop box should be monitored by the greeter if placed outside the voting room entrance. Your Chief may decide that it is more practical to position the drop box inside the voting room of your precinct. In this case, another officer, such as one stationed at the check-in tables, should monitor the drop box.

010. BEFORE POLLS OPEN: Chief's Table

It’s vital that you set up your Chief’s Table with all items you may need. We suggest you actually use 2 tables side-by-side: one to hold these documents and forms and another where non-routine voters may sit as you help them.

  • Voter Forms: Keep the different voter forms handy, including the Request for Assistance form for assisted voters, Affirmation of Eligibility for inactive voters, and Voter Registration Application for new or moved voters. We will go over these situations in more detail later in this training.
  • Provisional Materials: Some non-routine voters may only be eligible to cast a provisional ballot. Keep your provisional log, provisional envelopes, and provisional notices handy for them.
  • Numbered Envelopes: There are some numbered envelopes that you will put materials in throughout the day. For example, provisional materials go in envelope #1A, spoiled and voided ballots go in envelope #4, and completed voter forms will go in envelope #8.
  • Chief’s Notes: This is where you will document any unusual situations or problems that occur on election day.
  • Chiefs Notebook: Remember, you will have your Chiefs Notebook on election day, which will walk you through all situations that may arise, including how to help any non-routine voters and what forms they may need to complete.
  • Poll Pad: You will not have a designated Chief Poll Pad, but you should take one from the check-in table and use it at the Chief’s table when you need to look up or check-in non-routine voters. This will give you the flexibility to use the Poll Pad when you need it or add a check-in station for routine voters when needed. Just be sure to keep your devices charged!

Keep your Chief’s Table tidy throughout the day. The better-organized your Chief’s Table is, the easier it will be for you to find what you need to help process non-routine voters!

011. BEFORE POLLS OPEN: People to Know

Let’s go over some people who may be at your polling place:

  • ROVERS: Rovers are Office of Elections staff who monitor and visit 10-12 polling places on election day. They may help with polling place or voting equipment issues. But for non-routine voter or provisional issues, you should always call the main office for help.
  • NEWS MEDIA & INTERVIEWS: Remind your officers that they should call you if someone wants to do an interview. You may provide basic facts (e.g. number of voters checked in), but do not give opinions or forecasts. For anything further, call the Office of Elections.
  • INSIDE – AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVES: Representatives of a party or of a candidate who must submit a signed, hard copy authorization form to the Chief. Authorized Representatives are allowed anywhere inside a polling place as long as they don’t impede voters or touch voting equipment. Authorized Representatives may stay and observe closing procedures; but if they do, they cannot leave the room or report results early.
  • OUTSIDE – CAMPAIGNERS, BAKE SALES, ETC.: Remember, state law does not permit loitering, congregating, or electioneering within 40 feet of a polling place entrance (i.e. the building entrance, NOT the voting room entrance). This means restricted activities like campaigning, handing out flyers, and bake sales must stay outside of the 40-foot Prohibited Area. You will receive a kit with a 40-foot rope, chalk, and tape to help you measure and mark your Prohibited Area. Check periodically throughout election day to make sure no one moves closer.

012. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 1: Introduction

We will now go over some Non-Routine Voter situations and how to use the “What-Ifs” in the Chiefs Notebook.

In this section, we will cover voters without an acceptable ID, voters who are marked Inactive, voters who require assistance, and curbside voters.

013. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 1: Who Helps Non-Routine Voters

As a regular election officer in the past, you have helped process all routine voters. These are voters who can be checked-in on the Poll Pad without issue.

As a Chief or Assistant Chief, you will help process all non-routine voters. If an election officer cannot check-in a voter, they will direct them to the Chief’s Table for you to help them.

014. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 1: Voter Referral Worksheet and What-Ifs

When one of your officers notices they have a non-routine voter, ask them to complete the yellow Voter Referral Worksheet. You’ll notice that the list of reasons for referral on the left correspond with different What-If reference numbers on the right. You can use this information to look in the What-Ifs to find out how to handle any situation.

The What-Ifs are a comprehensive state-issued document with step-by-step instructions for dealing with any non-routine voter situation. You will reference them frequently on election day. If you have questions or need more help, you can always call our office and we will guide you through a non-routine voter situation.

015. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 1: What if Voter has No ID?

If a voter does not have an acceptable ID with them, you should offer them an ID Confirmation Statement. Have the voter read, complete, and sign the form. Select the “Voter Signed Oath” flag on the Poll Pad and the voter will be able to vote routinely.

016. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 1: What if Voter is Inactive?

Voters can become “Inactive” if:

  • They have moved, but did not update their voter registration.

How do you process an Inactive voter?

  • First, ask the voter if they have moved. If the answer is yes, stop and use the Moving Conditions in the What-Ifs.
  • Otherwise, simply ask the voter to complete an Affirmation of Eligibility form. Now the voter can be checked-in.
  • On the Poll Pad, select the Voter Signed Oath flag.

That’s it! One form and one flag on the Poll Pad. There’s no need to call the office for Inactive voters, but you can if you’d like help the first time.

017. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 1: Affirmation of Elegibility Form

This is an example of an Affirmation of Eligibility form, which you will use for Inactive voters.

On the front side of the form, an election officer must complete Section A with some basic information like the precinct number and date. Do not fill out the “Statement of Challenger” section for an Inactive voter - we will explain this section later in this training.

On the back side of the form, the voter must complete Section B with their information. This includes their name, signature, address, contact info, and more.

That’s it! Now the Affirmation of Eligibility form is complete, the voter may be checked-in on the Poll Pad and vote normally. Remember to select the “Voter Signed Oath” flag on the Poll Pad.

018. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 1: What if Voter Needs Assistance?

Some voters may need help to vote.

  • A voter may have someone assist them in the voting booth with reading, translating, or marking the ballot.
  • Almost anyone may assist a voter, including a friend, family member, or even an election officer. There are only 4 people who may not assist a voter: a candidate, an authorized representative, the voter’s boss, or the voter’s union representative.
  • Before a voter is assisted, the voter and their assistant must both sign the Request for Assistance form.

Two important notes:

  • If the assistant chosen by the voter is age 15 or younger, such as their child, neither the voter nor the assistant is required to complete the form.
  • If an election officer is asked to translate the ballot as the assistant, notify Authorized Representatives who may choose to observe.

How do you process an assisted voter?

  • Ask the voter and their assistant to complete the Request for Assistance form.
  • On the Poll Pad, select the Assisted flag.

019. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 1: Request for Assistance Form

This is an example of a Request for Assistance form, which you will use for voters needing assistance at the voting booth with reading, translating, or marking their ballot.

In total, 3 people must mark this form:

  • An election officer should write the precinct number & name and the date at the top of the form.
  • The voter must print and sign their name in Section A.
  • The assistant must print and sign their name and address in Section B.

If an election officer is asked to translate the ballot as the assistant, and an Authorized Representative wants to observe, they should fill out section C.

020. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 1: What if Voter Wishes to Vote Curbside?

Some voters may choose to vote curbside. They would pull into a designated curbside voter parking spot and call the phone number you have put on the curbside voting sign.

  • Voters who are disabled or age 65 or older may request to vote outside the polls. You should not ask for additional proof if someone asks to vote curbside.
  • The Request for Assistance form is NOT required for curbside voters. However, you may want to take this form with you when helping curbside voters in case they have someone in their vehicle who will be assisting them. They may also request help from you!
  • In November elections, you may have high school pages assigned to your precinct. They may accompany you, but they may not directly help curbside voters.

How do you process a curbside voter?

  • TWO officers, when practicable, go outside with a Poll Pad, a ballot in a privacy folder, and a pen to mark the ballot.
  • Check in the voter using the Poll Pad, issue the ballot to the voter, and wait while the voter marks the ballot.
  • Both officers should return inside to cast the ballot.
  • One officer or page goes back outside to inform voter their ballot has been successfully cast. (If the DS200 scanner did not accept the ballot, you would spoil the ballot and issue the voter a new ballot.)

Remember that you must always wait with the voter until they finish marking their ballot. If you do not stay, the voter could leave or give their ballot to an outside campaigner – don’t let that happen!

021. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 1: Check-In Flags

Remember to select the appropriate check-in flag on the Poll Pad for:

  • Voters without an acceptable ID who complete an ID Confirmation Statement,
  • Voters marked as Inactive who complete the Affirmation of Eligibility form,
  • Voters requiring assistance who complete a Request for Assistance form, and
  • Curbside voters

Work with your officers to ensure this step isn’t skipped!

022. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 1: Knowledge Check

Time for a knowledge check!

023. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 2: Introduction

Now let’s go over some more Non-Routine Voter situations and how to use the “What-Ifs” in the Chiefs Notebook.

In this section we’ll cover some provisional voter situations, what to do if a voter has requested an absentee ballot, how to handle a voter if they’ve moved, and a few more “What-If” situations.

024. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 2: Provisional Ballots

Many of the following situations will involve provisional ballots. Provisional ballots are ballots that are set aside on election day and adjudicated later. There is a common misconception that provisional ballots are only counted in close races or to break ties; this is not true! Provisional ballots are reviewed by the Electoral Board in the days after the election and, if counted, they are included in the official election results.

The first step is to understand WHEN to offer a provisional ballot to a voter.

After this section, we will explain HOW to complete a provisional ballot step-by-step.

025. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 2: What if Voter is Already Checked-In?

What should you do if a voter is already listed in the pollbook as having voted earlier in the day?

  • This may have happened if one of your officers checked in someone manually with the wrong name. For example, Bob Voter, Jr. arrived to vote, but was checked-in as Bob Voter.
  • Unless both voters are present, do NOT edit the previous check-in.
  • Instead, offer the voter a provisional ballot.

The Electoral Board will review the situation and determine if the ballot should be counted.

026. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 2: What if Voter is Not in Pollbook?

What should you do if a voter is not listed in the pollbook?

  • First, try doing an advanced search on the Poll Pad to try and find the voter by their date of birth or other identifying information.
  • If you still can’t find the voter, call the Office of Elections. It may be an error and the office may give you instructions on how to add the voter to your pollbook.
  • Otherwise, offer the voter a provisional ballot.

The Electoral Board will review the situation and determine if the ballot should be counted.

027. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 2: What if Voter Requested Absentee Ballot?

What if a voter intended to vote by mail and requested a mailed ballot, but then comes to the polling place anyways?

First, let’s look at the steps if the voter comes to the polling place WITH their absentee ballot. Before proceeding, remind the voter they have the option of depositing a completed absentee ballot in the ballot drop box at the precinct. Otherwise, proceed with the following steps.

  • First, the voter should surrender their ballot to you. If it is still sealed in the envelope, ask them to open the envelope to verify the ballot is present. If the voter has made selections in any contests on the ballot, ask them if they want to fill in all bubbles for those contests, so no one knows who they intended to vote for.
  • Next, you must write “ absentee surrendered” across the face of the ballot. You will place this ballot in envelope #4 with spoiled and voided ballots.
  • Now you may check in the voter on the Poll Pad and allow them to vote a regular ballot.

Now let’s look at the steps if the voter comes to the polling place WITHOUT their absentee ballot.

  • This one is very straightforward: simply offer the voter a provisional ballot.
  • After election day, staff will verify that the voter did not already vote an absentee ballot in-person or by mail and provide the Electoral Board with that information.

028. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 2: What if Voter is Challenged?

It is rare, but you may have someone challenge a voter’s eligibility to vote.

  • Any registered voter (including an election officer) may challenge another voter. This may happen if they believe the voter is not who they say they are or they have reason to believe the voter does not live at their registered address.
  • In this case, we will use the Affirmation of Eligibility form. You may remember that this was the same form used for Inactive voters.
  • An election officer fills in the precinct and date.
  • The challenger completes and signs the front page of the form.
  • The voter completes and signs the back page of the form. Once they do so, they are permitted to vote a normal ballot. If they decline to sign the form, they may complete a provisional ballot or choose not to vote.

Again, this is a rare situation but if it happens, feel free to call the office for help.

029. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 2: What if Voter has P.O. Box?

Some voters may be listed in the pollbook with a P.O. Box instead of a typical address. That’s OK!

  • During the check-in process, as long as the address the voter provides orally or in writing matches the address listed in the Poll Pad, you should check them in routinely.
  • Individuals registered with a P.O. Box are known as Protected Voters. They may be law enforcement personnel or other individuals who need to keep their residential address private.
  • To be clear, you do NOT need a provisional ballot.

Again, as long as the voter provides the same address as in the pollbook, you should always check-in the voter routinely. There is no need to call the office for this situation.

030. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 2: What if Voter is in Wrong Precinct?

What if someone shows up to vote, but they are not registered in your precinct?

  • Inform them that Virginia law states that they must vote in their registered precinct for their vote to count.

  • You should strongly encourage them to go to the correct precinct. Again, Virginia law states that you must vote in your registered precinct on election day for your vote to count.

  • Of course, all voters have the option of voting a provisional ballot. If an out-of-precinct voter chooses to vote a provisional ballot, make sure they first understand they are not voting in their registered precinct. All provisional ballots are adjudicated by the Electoral Board, who follow the law in determining which ballots to count.

031. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 2: What if Voter has Moved?

If a voter has moved, you will frequently consult the Moving Conditions on page 10 of the What-Ifs. These can often be the most confusing thing for a new Chief or Assistant Chief, but we’re going to walk you through it!

First, you should ask the voter about exactly when they moved. Once you know the date they moved (or at least the month and year), you will look for the correct row that matches. For example, a voter who has moved in 2021 would be in the row that is for “on or after Nov 4, 2020.”

Next, you need to determine how far the voter has moved. If they moved within the same precinct, we can look towards the leftmost column and see they can always vote. Similarly, if they have moved out-of-state, we can see the rightmost column and see they cannot vote normally, unless it is within 30 days of a presidential election. If they cannot vote normally, you should always offer a provisional ballot.

The hard part is when they have moved within Fairfax County. You will need to determine the Congressional District of their old and new precincts. You can either call our office or visit on your phone. Depending on if they moved within the same congressional district or into a different congressional district, you would look in the corresponding columns and find out if they can vote.

Generally speaking, a voter who has moved will have to go to their registered (or “old”) precinct.

032. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 2: Moved Voter Example 1

Let’s take a look at an example situation. What if a voter moved to Maryland in July 2019?

  • First, we look for the row that matches the moving date. July 2019 is between November 7, 2018 and November 3, 2020, so we are looking in the middle row.
  • Next, we look for the column that matches how far the voter moved. In this case, they moved to another state, which is the rightmost column.
  • Therefore, we can see that they cannot vote routinely. Again, you should always offer a provisional ballot to the voter.

As you can see on the chart, no matter when a voter moves out-of-state (even if it was the day before the election), they are not eligible to vote routinely in Virginia anymore.

033. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 2: Moved Voter Example 2

Let’s take a look at another example situation. What if a voter moved in May 2019 to another precinct in Fairfax County? For the purposes of this example, let’s assume they moved within the same congressional district.

  • First, we look for the row that matches the moving date. May 2019 is between November 7, 2018 and November 3, 2020, so we are looking in the middle row.
  • Next, we look for the column that matches how far the voter moved. In this case, they moved within Fairfax County and within the same congressional district, which is the second column.
  • Therefore, we can see that they can vote in their “old” precinct if otherwise eligible.

As you can see on the chart, if a voter has moved within Fairfax County, the date when they moved is very important. Whether or not they are permitted to vote routinely, you should offer them a Voter Registration application so they may update their registered address.

034. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 2: Voter Registration Application

Here is a sample of a Virginia Voter Registration Application. This form is used for new voters, as well as voters who simply need to update their name or address.

Whenever you have a voter who has moved without updating their voter registration, you should always offer them a Voter Registration Application. If they complete it and turn it in to you, return it in envelope #8 and our office will process it shortly after the election.

035. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 2: Knowledge Check

Time for a knowledge check!

036. PROVISIONAL BALLOTS: Introduction

We will now go over Provisional Ballots and the step-by-step procedures for issuing them to voters.

037. PROVISIONAL BALLOTS: Important Notes About Provisional Ballots

Before we begin, some very important notes about provisional ballots. Think of these as the 3 cardinal rules of provisional ballots:

  1. The Electoral Board, and only the Electoral Board, decides whether to count provisional ballots. You should never tell anyone their ballot will or will not be counted. That is the Electoral Board’s decision! If a voter wants more information, you can tell them to call our office.

  2. You should NOT check in provisional voters on your Poll Pad. In Virginia, provisional voters are never marked on the pollbook because we do not know yet if their ballot will be counted.

  3. Do NOT let voters cast provisional ballots on the DS200 scanner. It’s very important to help provisional voters at the Chief’s Table, far away from the DS200 scanner. Once you issue a ballot to a provisional voter, stay with them until they return it to you.

038. PROVISIONAL BALLOTS: Provisional Notice

This is a sample of a provisional notice. You must give each provisional voter this notice, which tells them more about how and when their provisional ballot will be adjudicated.

039. PROVISIONAL BALLOTS: Provisional Envelope

Once you have given the voter their provisional notice, you and the voter will complete the provisional envelope. As you do so, it’s very important to remember the following:

  • Virginia law requires both the voter AND the election officer to sign the provisional envelope. Not signing is the most common mistake we see with provisional ballots - don’t let that happen in your precinct! You should also make sure the voter fills out the envelope completely.

  • If you have additional information about why the voter is voting provisionally, you should put it on the OUTSIDE of the envelope. You can write on the envelope or you can staple notes. This is because the Electoral Board cannot open an envelope until they have already decided to count it. If you or the voter put any notes inside, the Electoral Board will not see them until after they make their decision.

  • Once someone has voted provisionally, they may NOT vote normally later that day. A provisional vote counts as their one vote for the day, by state law. And in Fairfax County, we do something funny - we follow the law!

040. PROVISIONAL BALLOTS: Provisional Log

This is a sample of the Provisional Ballot Log.

For each provisional voter, you will record some basic information about them here, including their name, address, year of birth, and phone number. The voter writes this information on the individual provisional envelopes, so you can simply copy it over.

You must also select a numerical reason code for each provisional voter - these are listed at the bottom of the page and on the individual provisional envelopes. (There is a helpful explanation of what each code means on page 20 of the What-Ifs.)

Leave the two rightmost columns blank - those are reserved for the Electoral Board.

041. PROVISIONAL BALLOTS: Provisional Steps

Let’s go over all the steps involved in processing a provisional voter.

  • First, give the provisional notice to the voter. The reason we do this first is so we don’t forget.
  • Next, have the voter complete the provisional envelope. Remember, you must also sign the envelope.
  • Next, add the voter to the Provisional Ballot Log.
  • Next, have the voter fill out a ballot while at the Chief’s Table. You should stay with them, while providing appropriate privacy, so they don’t accidentally walk over to the DS200 scanner and try to cast their ballot normally.
  • Once the voter has marked their ballot, seal it in the small green provisional envelope.
  • Finally, place the individual provisional ballot envelope in the large green #1A envelope. All provisional envelopes are returned here.

You’ll note that the ballot was the last thing you and the voter complete. By doing the other steps first, you’re making sure you don’t miss or forget anything.

042. PROVISIONAL BALLOTS: Provisional Practice

Now, let’s practice another provisional situation!

Bob Voter comes in the afternoon, but is marked as having already voted. He mentions that his son (Bob Voter, Jr.) lives with him and voted earlier that day around 10:30 AM.

As we discussed in the Non-Routine section, this is most likely due to an officer checking in the wrong voter. Because you cannot edit the older check-in, you must offer the voter in front of you a provisional ballot. The Electoral Board will then review the situation and determine if his ballot should be counted.

043. PROVISIONAL BALLOTS: Processing Provisional Voters

Let’s continue with the example of a voter who is marked as already having voted.

  • The voter and officer again complete the front of the envelope, including signatures from each person.
  • You must also complete the back of the envelope - select a checkbox and write notes!
  • Here, we have selected reason code #5 (voter is showing in the pollbook as already having voted) and wrote some notes at the top of the envelope to explain that we think we checked in his son by mistake earlier in the day.

Remember, any notes should be written or attached to the outside of the envelope, so the Electoral Board can review them before they make their decision. You may also offer the voter a separate piece of paper for them to write their own notes, then staple it to the envelope.

044. PROVISIONAL BALLOTS: Using the Provisional Ballot Log

Don’t forget to add this provisional voter to your Provisional Ballot Log!

For this voter, just as you selected reason code #5 on the envelope, you will mark an ‘x’ in the #5 column.

045. PROVISIONAL BALLOTS: Knowledge Check

Time for a knowledge check!

046. STATEMENT OF RESULTS: Introduction

We will now go over the Statement of Results and how to complete it election night.

047. STATEMENT OF RESULTS: Statement of Results Information

The Statement of Results (SOR) is the most important document you will complete on election night because it is the record of votes in your precinct.

There will also be an identical SOR Copy that you will also complete (the official SOR goes to the courthouse while the copy stays in our office).

The SOR helps answer 3 basic questions:

  • How many voters were checked in?
  • How many ballots were counted?
  • How many votes did each candidate receive?


Let’s review an example SOR together!

049. STATEMENT OF RESULTS: Example SOR, Part 1

Here is an example SOR. On the right side, you must staple the tapes printed from your DS200 scanner.

Note that in each section of the SOR, there is a column for what number you are looking for (e.g. Total Voters Checked In), then a column telling you where to find that number (e.g. Poll Pad Certification Form), and then a column for you to write in the number (e.g. 102). Once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty straightforward. There are also more detailed instructions in the Chiefs Notebook that you receive each election.

  • Part A: In this first section, you will account for all voters in your precinct. In this example SOR, we can see on row A1 that 102 voters were checked-in on the Poll Pads. Next, on row A2, we have to account for any fleeing voters. As a reminder, fleeing voters are individuals who checked in and received a ballot, but left without scanning it on the DS200. In this example, we can see there were 2 fleeing voters. Lastly, on row A3, we want to calculate the difference (A1 minus A2), which tells us there were 100 voters who actually cast their ballot.

  • Part B: In the second section, you will account for all counted ballots in your precinct. In this example, we can see that there were 50 ballots cast on the first DS200 scanner, 50 ballots cast on the second DS200 scanner, and 0 hand-counted ballots. If you add these numbers up, you can see there were 100 total counted ballots.

  • Part C: In this section, you will note any discrepancies in your numbers. In our example, the total number of voters casting ballots in Part A matched the total number of ballots cast in Part B, which is great! That is what is supposed to happen, which is why we wrote “no discrepancies.” However, sometimes the numbers may not match up. The most common issue is if a voter was not properly checked-in but still received a ballot. This is why it’s important to monitor your check-in table first thing in the morning and make sure all officers know how to check-in voters properly. In that case, if you know why the numbers are off, write an explanation here.

One other note: if any numbers are 0, we prefer you put a “dash” in that box, as we did here in section B (row B3). It makes it a little easier when office staff review every SOR in the days after the election.

050. STATEMENT OF RESULTS: Example SOR, Part 2

Now let’s look at the next two sections of the SOR.

PART D: In this section, we want to account for all ballots you received and whether they were used or not. Let’s go row-by-row.

  • D1: This is for how many ballots you received before polls open. We know how many ballots we send to each precinct, so the first row will be pre-filled for you.
  • D2: This is ballots received from Electoral Board while polls are open. If the number of voters in your precinct is higher-than-expected, we may send you additional ballots during the day. If so, you would account for it here. In this example, no extra ballots were needed, so they wrote a dash for 0.
  • D3: This is the total ballots received, which is simply the sum of the previous two numbers. In this example, the precinct received 500 ballots before election day and 0 extra ballots during the day, so they received a total of 500 ballots.
  • D4: This is the number for total counted ballots (scanned and hand-counted), which includes both regular ballots and ExpressVote cards. The total counted ballots number is taken from Part B (line B4).
  • D5: This is the number for how many ExpressVote cards were counted. You can locate this number on the DS200 tape’s Ballot Status Accounting Report, next to the heading “Total ExpressVote Cards.” Note that the number you write here should be the sum from all DS200s used for voting.
  • D6: This is the number for how many regular printed ballots were counted. You can locate this number on the DS200 tape’s Ballot Status Accounting Report, next to the heading “Public Count.” Note that the number you write here should be the sum from all DS200s used for voting.
  • D7: This is the total number of spoiled and voided ballots. As a reminder, voided ballots are from fleeing voters and spoiled ballots are ballots that needed to be replaced because a voter made a mistake. You should be able to easily count these ballots because you have been putting them in envelope #4 during the day. IMPORTANT: As noted in the red text, do NOT include any absentee ballots surrendered by voters.
  • D8: This is the number of ballots used for provisional voters. In this example, we can see they had 1 provisional voter.
  • D9: This is the number of total regular ballots used in some way: counted (voted), spoiled or voided, or used for provisional voters. This number is the sum of lines D6 + D7 + D8.
  • D10: This is the number of total regular ballots unused and returned, which is the difference between Line D3 (total regular ballots received) and D9 (total regular ballots used). In our example, 404 ballots are being returned.

This is a lot of numbers but trust us – it’s easier than it looks! And as always, if you need help, please feel free to call the office on election day.

Part E: This is where all election officers present sign to acknowledge they certify the results.

  • Do NOT have your officers pre-sign during the day. We have occasionally received SORs back that have all their officer signatures - but no information completed above! Don’t be that precinct.
  • If you have officers who were sworn in but not present for closing procedures, note that in their designated signature spot on the SOR. For example, write in “Absentee Ballot Collector” or “Half-Day AM Officer” to explain why those officers did not sign the SOR. This helps us quickly figure out the difference between an officer who intentionally did not sign the SOR and an officer who simply forgot to sign the SOR!

051. STATEMENT OF RESULTS: Helpful Reminders

The best tip we have for you in completing the SOR is to be prepared; have all required documents, tapes, and numbers handy before you begin and it will be much easier.

And if you do need help on election day, we are just a phone call away!

052. TIPS & CLOSING POLLS: Introduction

We will now go over Tips & Closing the Polls on election night.

053. TIPS & CLOSING POLLS: Election Officers

Here are some tips to help you on election day:

  • Assign each officer a number and have them sign in that numbered spot on each form (including the Oath, Compensation Sheet, Statement of Results, and more). That way, you can quickly look and figure out who has not signed.
  • Assign officers based on skills and experience. Identify your best or most experienced officers and put them on the Poll Pads or other important tasks during busy periods.
  • Rotate your officers between positions every couple hours. Do this proactively; don’t wait for officers to ask!
  • Schedule breaks so only 1 or 2 officers are on break at a time.
  • Assign and explain closing tasks by 5 PM, before the evening rush. Officers should understand their assigned tasks well before closing.

054. TIPS & CLOSING POLLS: Equipment Tips

Now let’s go over some equipment tips to keep election day running smoothly.

  • Remember that you can call Technical Support for help.
  • If any equipment issues arise during the day, document them in your Chief’s Notes.
  • Tape all cords down & out of the way of voters walking.
  • If you are having issues scanning IDs with the Poll Pad, try to adjust the ID tray, or create a shadow with your hand or a piece of paper to reduce glare.
  • If your ExpressVote has no sound, first check that the volume is turned up.
  • Always use a surge protector between the wall outlet and your DS200 (and other voting equipment).

055. TIPS & CLOSING POLLS: Return Checklist

The end of the day can be a scramble to find everything you need, but it does not have to be. We provide multiple checklists in the Chiefs Notebook for what needs to be returned and where. We also include a second copy in the back of the notebook, printed in blue, that you can take out and hand to an officer.

Remember, delegate tasks and work in parallel to get everything done.

056. TIPS & CLOSING POLLS: Signature Reminder

A very important reminder about signatures:

  • Assign one officer to double-check that all forms and labels requiring signatures have been signed properly. There is a Signature Checklist in your Chiefs Notebook that you can use to make sure everything is signed properly before finishing on election day.
  • If any required documents are missing an officer’s signature, we will call that officer to come into the office within 2 days to sign them. It’s much better to make sure everything is signed on election day than to have to come to our office!
  • But, no matter what, do not have your officers pre-sign forms and labels during the day.

We really do not want you, or your officers, to have to come into our office after a day of hard work. Before leaving the polling place on election day, review the Signature Checklist in the Chiefs Notebook one last time to make sure everything is signed properly.

Be a hero, have zero missing signatures!

057. TIPS & CLOSING POLLS: Closing Procedures Tips

Lastly, some general tips about closing procedures:

  1. All voters who are in line or inside the polling place building at 7:00 PM can vote! If they are inside the building and walking to the voting room, they are allowed to vote! Similarly, any voters who are in the curbside parking spots by 7:00 PM are allowed to vote.
  2. Be sure to delegate! Any officer can do any task.
  3. As soon as possible, call in your results! Do not wait until you are done packing everything.
  4. Dismiss election officers only after ALL work is complete.
  5. Lastly, the Chief must drive some materials back to the designated return site. Your election officers should help pack your car!

With these tips, you should be well-prepared for your first time as a Chief or Assistant Chief.

058. CONCLUSION: Quiz and Contact Information

Congratulations! You have now completed this online class.

To receive credit, you must still take and pass the quiz. You can find the quiz in the Election Officer Portal. Go to the Training tab, scroll down, and look in the bottom-right for a link labeled “Take Quiz.” If you do not pass the quiz the first time, you can take it again. You can have the training materials open to reference as you take the quiz.

  1. If you need help or to contact us anytime, email or call 703-324-4735.
  2. For upcoming election information, visit our agency website.
  3. As always, you can use the Election Officer Portal to indicate your availability each election, enroll in training, and check your precinct assignment.
  4. For more training resources, you can find all classes, videos, and handouts on our training website.

This training is now complete. Thank you and we know you’ll do great on election day!